Skillet # 12 - Michael's eggplant moussaka and spring salad

 

We were happy to have Skillet Co-ordinator Michael come back and demonstrate their recipe for a vegetarian eggplant moussaka with a simple summery salad. Michael is a current University of Melbourne postgraduate student studying their masters in environment with a focus on sustainable food systems.

Michael - “I chose this recipe as its one that uses a lot of different processes that can challenge and test one’s abilities in the kitchen. There’s roasting, baking, chopping and a whole host of other skills that this recipe will help develop. On top of that its easy to deviate from the recipe and add in other flavours so its fun to chop and change some of the ingredients to suit your style. That and its a crowd pleaser: no one is going to feel unhappy about eating this.”

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 Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hr 30 mins

Serves: 4 – 6 people

 

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 Ingredients:

Eggplant Moussaka:

 

  • 3x large eggplants

  • 4x zucchinis

  • 5x large potatoes

  • 2x brown onions (diced)

  • 5x cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1x tin diced tomatoes

  • 1x tin brown lentils

  • 1x sprig rosemary (chopped)

  • 1x cup parsley (chopped)

  • 2x cups soy milk

  • 2x cups fetta

  • Cornflour

  • Olive oil

  • 2x Tbsp dried oregano

  • Nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to season

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 Spring Salad:

  • 1x cup parsley

  • 4x garlic cloves (minced)

  • 5x tomatoes (or a punnet of cherry tomatoes)

  • 4x cloves garlic

  • 1x cucumber

  • 1x lemon

  • ½ cup olive oil

 

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 Method:

 

Moussaka:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Slice eggplants into disks and liberally cover in salt, set aside for 20 minutes.

  3. Slice zucchini lengthways and put onto a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven for 15 mins, turning half way through. Repeat with eggplant when sufficiently dehydrated. Set aside to cool when finished.

  4. Wash and peel potatoes, then slice into disks and parboil for 5 mins until cooked but not crumbly. Set aside to cool.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add in diced onions and minced garlic, fry until translucent.

  6. Add in the rosemary and 2 tablespoons of oregano and fry until aromatic. Add in diced tomatoes, lentils and chopped tomatoes and simmer until thick.

  7. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a separate skillet and add 2 Tbsp of cornflour until a paste is formed. Add in two cups of soy milk and heat over low/medium heat until simmering. Continually stir this to avoid burning and it will thicken up quite quickly. Take off heat immediately once thick. Add nutritional yeast if that’s something you’re into.

  8. Lightly grease a large, deep baking tray with olive oil and layer initially with the potato disks, then eggplant, then zucchini. Save some eggplant and potato for future layers.

  9. Push down to compact each layer and pour the tomato/lentil mixture on top. Top with more potato and eggplant.

  10. Once all ingredients have been used crumble feta over the top and then pour over the soy milk mixture, making sure to spread evenly over the top. Bake in the oven for 40 mins – 1 hour.

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 Spring Salad:

 

  1. Mince garlic.

  2. Slice cucumber lengthways and deseed by spooning out the soft insides. Slice and dice the rest.

  3. Dice tomatoes.

  4. Chop parsley.

  5. Combine and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste.

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Hints:

 

  • Making a vegan béchamel like the one used in this recipe is actually more consistent and generally not as over powering as the traditional way – it’s often how I made it while working in cafes and restaurants as it comes out more consistent. But be careful to continually stir and make sure it doesn’t burn!

  • Try putting a few different vegetables layered through the moussaka: roasted red peppers, roasted pumpkin and spinach are easy additions to make.

  • To make completely vegan just omit the feta (or substitute with almond feta).

  • All of the roast ingredients can be prepared in advance and then it’s merely a process of layering each and every piece before baking.

  • Be conscious of using just little bits of oil in each component: it can get a little much towards the end and become an oily mess!